President Barack Obama, with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, listen as enrollees in the Affordable Care Act tell their stories in the Oval Office, Oct. 1, 2013. The enrollees later joined the President for a statement in the Rose Garden. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama hugs Americans who will benefit from the Affordable Care Act after delivering remarks about the launch of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces and the first federal government shutdown in 17 years in the Rose Garden
…. Paula Thornhill was the first to apply in Prince William; she had heard about the program at her last appointment at the clinic, so she signed up for the first day possible. She has seven children, the oldest 14, the youngest 6-month-old Serenity. Her husband has health insurance through the printing company where he works as a cutter operator, but they couldn’t afford to cover her as well. “It’s hundreds of dollars a month,” she said.
“Is this Obamacare?” she asked. She had heard of it, but didn’t know much about it. But she was happy to hear about something that could provide insurance based on income. She’s hoping it’s not more than $50 a month.
She cuddled Serenity after signing up, and 2-year-old Daniel raced around the waiting area, giggling, while her mother-in-law filled out forms.
“I’m relieved that they did come out with this affordable health care,” she said. “I’m relieved.”
So, for the second time in 17 years, Republicans—in a fit of pique—have shut down the government.
No, Barack Obama didn’t shut down the government. Funding government operations is the basic function of a Congress. Defunding, then delaying, then delaying the individual mandate of Obamacare has nothing to do with the budget. Obamacare is already fully paid for and brings down the deficit. Demanding that Obamacare be done away with as a price for not shutting down the government is similar to Newt Gingrich shutting down the government in 1995 because he had to ride at the back of Air Force One. One has nothing to do with the other.
At this point we have to ask: what will it take for our fellow citizens to wake up?